Finding New Business From Major Accounts

Finding New Business From Major Accounts

By Dave Baragrey


Revenues are down at your paper. What are you going to do?


Almost every one of us has faced this situation. You continue to publish a quality product but advertisers are reducing budgets, trying new advertising media or going out of business. What is the solution? Following are some ideas to help you develop new business.


Major Market Segments

Take a look at the market segments that are strong with your paper now. Do you “own” the Real Estate market segment? How are you doing with Auto Dealerships, Grocery, Restaurants, Building Supplies, Department & Discount Stores, Financial, and Major Appliances & Home Furnishings?


In most papers, these are the strongest major advertisers. Study the revenue history of these segments in your paper and compare your findings with the total advertising expenditures from these businesses. These businesses are the ones that are going to have the most significant impact on advertising revenues.


Develop a complete list of all the businesses in each of these major market segments. Then identify which businesses are major advertisers with your paper. The obvious result from developing this list is to identify those businesses in these major market segments that do not advertise with you, but there is more.


· Larger Ad size – We all love those full-page advertisers, but could they do more? Present your best customers with creative advertising ideas to generate larger ads. Create spec ads of full page, 2-page or even 8-page layouts they could use as a pre-printed insert to your paper. These larger ads may not run daily or weekly, but an occasional double truck will help boost revenue for your paper and store traffic for the advertiser. The key to success in selling larger advertising is creating the visual. You are more likely to sell them if you have created an outstanding spec ad they can see.


· Frequency – Top of mind awareness is the positive result for an advertiser who appears in your paper more often. Greater exposure to consumers through advertising in your paper regularly moves the business up on the list of places that are thought of first when the consumer is ready to buy. While creating your list of major advertisers, identify the frequency of their ads. Find the gaps when they did not advertise and fill them to help them create top of mind awareness.


· New market areas – If you own more than one paper you know the benefit of selling combination advertising. This attracts new customers from fringe areas for the advertiser. If you have a single zone paper, can you create a network of similar types of papers in contiguous areas? A network of papers can build your value to advertisers who want to reach out into different markets. A wide area network can make your paper a more valuable advertising source to large, multi-location stores. Media buyers love the idea of working with one representative that can handle the advertising for many store locations. I had great success as a publisher representing a wide area network with major accounts including K Mart, Wal-mart, Rite-Aid and other regional and national advertisers.


· New Products – Without taking the focus off your core product, have you considered publishing new products to expand your market? Many papers are realizing new revenues from a multiple product line. Glossy Coupon Magazines, Web Site Advertising, Direct Mail Marketing, Electronic Mail Marketing, and of course (I like this one best), adding new special sections to their product line. Talk to your key accounts to find out what they are most interested in. You may discover they are already spending part of their advertising budget on products like the ones mentioned above. While newspapers are taking a hit of 5 – 10% in lost revenues from display advertising, they are finding new products make up the lost sales and add a new profit center. These create a strong advertising base and will continue to show profit following the economic recovery.



Finding new business is never a simple task, but if you start with key accounts from strong market segment categories you will improve your chance of success. (Their advertising budgets are larger).


Here is a quote to remember:

"If you are going through hell, keep going."

- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)



Dave Baragrey is a business consultant and sales trainer for Publishers-Edge, a Special Section syndicate for print and on-line special sections, and Consulting business specifically designed to help newspapers and shopping guides.

Websites –, www.Coupon-America.NET and


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